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PrEP Services at the Latino Wellness Center

Filed Under: Education, Featured, Health, LGBT

Sí a la Vida is recruiting participants for a new PrEP Services Program. With funding from SF Dept. of Public Health, IFR’s PrEP Services Program will strive to reduce the rates of HIV transmission, acquisition, stigma, and HIV-related deaths in the Latino LGBT community.

PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is a prevention tool, a pill that is taken daily to prevent the spread of HIV amongst transgender Latinas and gay or bisexual Latino men. PrEP has been found to be effective in reducing the risk of HIV acquisition by as much as 90% or higher. Nevertheless, health providers recommend that people use PrEP with other prevention tools such as condoms, since PrEP does not protect against STIs or pregnancy.

Sí a la Vida’s PrEP Services will focus on recruiting Latinos who are HIV negative. PrEP Services will be one of the first culturally competent community-based programs targeting the LGBT Latino community. Despite an evolving understanding of PrEP in the LGBT community at large, there has been limited education, social marketing and accessibility to PrEP for Latinos. IFR’s PrEP Services Program aims to serve Latino MSM (Men who have sex with men) and Trans-Latina women (undocumented and documented, low income, with or without health insurance).

Whether it is because of language barriers, health access, or cultural reasons, the LGBT Latino community has not been sufficiently exposed to or engaged in conversations about safe sex practices. IFR’s PrEP Services Program has well trained bilingual and bicultural navigators who help participants with insurance and medication expenses. IFR’s PrEP Program Services team plans to change this through creative outreach, targeted discussions, and wrap-around support. As Sí a la Vida Program Manager Rafael Velazquez notes, “People are making choices every day about whether to begin PrEP. It’s important to make sure we give the LGBT Latino community that choice.”

IFR first established Sí a la Vida in 1985 to address the need for HIV education, services, and support for LGBT Latinos. Since then, the program has continued working to be responsive to this changing epidemic. IFR is proud to once again stand at the forefront to educate and support the health and wellness of LGBT Latino community.

If you are interested in learning more about IFR’s PrEP Services Program, visit the Latino Wellness Center 1663 Mission St. Suite. 603 San Francisco, CA 94103. 



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